Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

25 Comments

Angels 11, Red Sox 0: Not the best 22 hours or so for the Red Sox. After Wednesday night’s marathon they come in bleary-eyed and get utterly shellacked by the Halos. Eight runs on ten hits in four innings for John Lackey who, to be honest, should have been the best rested of all of the Red Sox given that he was probably sent home early the night before.  Speaking of rest: I almost wonder if the road team has an advantage bouncing back for a day game 11 hours after the night game ended. Since they don’t have a drive and are staying at an in-town hotel instead of their suburban mansions — and since they don’t have family with them who they want to see in the morning — I’m guessing it’s a shorter time from the ballpark to head-on-the pillow for the visitors, and I bet they got more sleep.

Tigers 6, Yankees 3: Know what I really don’t want to hear much more of? “What will they do about Derek Jeter” talk. Because here’s what they can do: nothing. They give him a day off here and there and each time Eduardo Nunez comes in and throws the ball all over the place. I guess he hits a little, but the fact is that Jeter doesn’t have an heir at short. He’s not getting moved any time soon. The talk about moving him up and down the lineup seems like deck chairs on the Titanic stuff. Eduardo Nunez. Ick.  Three out of four for the Tigers who, at times anyway, look like the only team who even remotely has it in them to make a run at Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Yankees’ lead over Tampa Bay is down to one game.

Reds 10, Astros 4: Homer Bailey returns from the DL and looks good: six innings, four hits, a run and seven strikeouts. Jay Bruce is heating up too (3 for 4, HR 3 runs).

Cardinals 6, Marlins 3: It’s not often you see Josh Johnson get beat up, but the Cardinals did it. Four runs batted in for Lance Berkman, including three on a tie-breaking home run in the eighth. Colby Rasmus, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday all had nice days too.  Those four in the middle of the lineup can do some damage.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Oakland had a ton of chances here, stranding runners in scoring position in extra innings twice and leaving a bunch of other guys on base.  The Indians, however, got the hits when it mattered with 12th inning RBI singles from Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson.  The Tribe is 21-9, matching their best start in franchise history. They’ve done that a few times, actually. One notable time: 1948. Which, if you’re an Indians fan, should mean something to you.

Mets 5, Giants 2: Mike Pelfrey helps the Mets avoid a sweep, allowing one earned run (and another unearned) on four hits in seven and two-thirds. Don’t get too excited, though, Mets fans. This was a very getaway day lineup for the Giants. Oh, and this is fun: K-Rod allowed three baserunners but none scored. He’s been doing a lot of that recently, giving him a strange looking 1.35 ERA but a 1.88 WHIP.

Royals 9, Orioles 1: Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and a walk. Bruce Chen allowed one run on five hits over seven. And most significantly of all: the Royals called up Eric Hosmer after the game.

Rays 3, Blues Jays 1: David Price was rough stuff, striking out ten in eight innings. Johnny Damon got his 2,600th career hit.

Braves 2, Brewers 1: Brandon Beachy continues to impress (6 IP, 0 ER, 9K) as he makes homers from Martin Prado and Eric Hinske hold up.

Phillies 7, Nationals 3: Philly jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Yeah, I think that was enough for Roy Halladay, who struck out 10 in seven innings.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Justin Smoak’s hot streak continues with a home run against his former club. Since coming back to the team after the death of his father he is batting .353 with three homers, four doubles and 13 RBI.  The Mariners are 7-2 during that stretch.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 2: Down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona rallied for two runs off Huston Street. In the bottom of the 11th Justin Upton singled home Chris Young. The Diamondbacks finish a pretty respectable homestand in which they took two of three from the Rockies and Phillies and split four with the Cubs.

Julio Urias is on his way back to the majors

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27:  Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on May 27, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
2 Comments

Dodgers 19-year-old rookie Julio Urias is coming back to the majors and Alex Wood is headed to the 15-day disabled list with left elbow soreness, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. Urias will likely start Saturday against the Braves, which will mark his debut in front of the home crowd.

Urias made his major league debut on Friday against the Mets at Citi Field, but lasted only 2 2/3 innings. He yielded three runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

Urias came into the season rated as the Dodgers’ #1 prospect and the #2 overall prospect in baseball. Prior to his promotion, he had compiled a 1.10 ERA with 44 strikeouts and eight walks over 41 innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Mookie Betts enjoys a three-homer game against the Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 31: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox follows his three run homer against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 31, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
7 Comments

The Red Sox seem to have hit the jackpot on all of their young players so far this year. Jackie Bradley, Jr. just had a 29-game hitting streak snapped. Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 24 games on Tuesday night. And Mookie Betts has been quite productive batting leadoff for the Red Sox this year, entering Tuesday with an even .800 OPS.

Betts, 23, hit 18 home runs in his first full season last year. With a three-homer night against the Orioles on Tuesday, he’s already up to 12 in 2016 with four months of season left. The first was of the solo variety, a line drive to center field off of Kevin Gausman in the first inning. Betts followed up in the third with a liner to left field for a three-run dinger off of Gausman. He made it three in the seventh, drilling a Dylan Bundy offering to right field.

Here’s video of homer number two:

Betts finished 3-for-5 as the Red Sox won 6-2 at Camden Yards.

The stats show the Pirates as an outlier in throwing “headhunter” pitches

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 5: Reliever Arquimedes Caminero #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on September 5, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
4 Comments

Last week at ESPN Sweetspot’s Inside the Zona, Ryan Morrison looked into the data and found that the Pirates stand out among the rest when it comes to throwing “headhunter” pitches. Those are defined as fastballs 3.2 feet or higher and 1.2 feet towards the batter from the center of the plate.

The research was prompted because Diamondbacks second baseman Jean Segura was hit in the helmet by Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero last Tuesday in the seventh inning. The next inning, Caminero hit shortstop Nick Ahmed in the jaw with a pitch and was instantly ejected.

Morrison illustrated the data in a nice chart, which you should check out. The Pirates have thrown 93 of those pitches, which is way more than any other team. The next closest team is the Reds at 68 pitches. The major league average is approximately 48 pitches.

The Pirates have had an organizational philosophy of pitching inside since at least 2013, as MLB.com’s Tom Singer quoted manager Clint Hurdle as saying, “We’re not trying to hurt people, just staying in with conviction.”

Morrison goes on to suggest that the Diamondbacks should have forfeited last Wednesday and Thursday’s games against the Pirates in protest, out of concern for their players’ safety. As it happened, the D-Backs lost both games anyway, suffering a series sweep. The two clubs don’t meet again this season.

D-Backs manager Chip Hale said after last Tuesday’s game that Caminero “shouldn’t be at this level”. Caminero responded to those comments today, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. “I’m actually glad you asked me about that,” Caminero said. “The only thing I’ve got to say about (Hale) is that he is a perfect manager. And he was a perfect player, too. That’s it. I know what I did wasn’t good, but it happens in baseball. I wasn’t trying to hit anyone.”

I realize I’m late on pointing out Morrison’s terrific article and the whole debacle between the two teams, but I felt it was worth highlighting.

Jose Bautista: “I’d be stupid to leave” Toronto

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jayshits a two-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
4 Comments

Also included in a recent report on Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated — along with his belief that Rougned Odor was the only bad guy in the May 15 debacle — was the slugger’s desire to remain a Blue Jay. Per Verducci, Bautista said, “I love the city. I’d be stupid to leave” Toronto.

Bautista, 35, is in the final year of a five-year, $65 million extension signed in February 2011. Back in November, the Jays exercised their 2016 club option for $14 million. Bautista isn’t willing to discuss contract details during the season, so the two sides will have to wait until at least October to come to an agreement.

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, Bautista is hitting .237/.371/.489 with 11 home runs, 37 RBI, and 40 walks, the latter of which leads the American League.